At 14, Lynne Cox swam 26 miles from Catalina Island to the California mainland; at 15 and 16, she broke the men's and women's world records for swimming the English Channel - a 33-mile crossing; at 18, she swam the 20-mile Cook Strait between North and South Islands of New Zealand; she was the first to swim the Strait of Magellan, the most ...
At 14, Lynne Cox swam 26 miles from Catalina Island to the California mainland; at 15 and 16, she broke the men's and women's world records for swimming the English Channel - a 33-mile crossing; at 18, she swam the 20-mile Cook Strait between North and South Islands of New Zealand; she was the first to swim the Strait of Magellan, the most treacherous 3-mile stretch of water in the world; she was first to swim the Bering Strait from Alaska to Siberia, thereby opening the U.S.-Soviet border for the first time in 48 years; and the first to swim the Cape of Good Hope (a shark emerged from the kelp, its jaws wide open, and was shot as it headed straight for her). And finally she is the first person to have swum a mile in 0 degree water in Antarctica. Lynne Cox writes about swimming the way Saint-Exupery wrote about flying, and one sees how swimming, like flying, can stretch the wings of the spirit. Lynne is an extraordinary achiever, but it is her enthusiasm and warmth, along with her respect for others, that come through above all in her writing, which is as easy and natural as her swimming ability. 'Swimming to Antarctica' is thrilling, modest, vivid and lyrical, an inspiring account of a life of aspiration and adventure.
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Publishers Weekly, 2003-12-01 Cox, one of the world's leading long-distance swimmers, has been a risk-taker ever since she was nine and chose the freezing water of a New Hampshire pool in a storm over getting out and doing calisthenics. After her family moved to California so she and her siblings could train as speed swimmers, she discovered long-distance ocean swimming. Her first open-water event, a team race across the Catalina Channel, convinced her to train for the English Channel. At 15, she broke the Channel record, and decided she needed a new goal. Up to this point, Cox's story reads like a fairy tale of hard work, careful planning and good support, crowned with success. It isn't until she competes in the Nile River swim that the tale turns ugly-she's swimming in raw sewage and chemical waste, fending off the dead rats and broken glass, so sick with dysentery she lands in the hospital. Undeterred, she plans more ambitious swims-around the shark-infested Cape of Good Hope, across Alaska's Glacier Bay-to prepare for her big dream, a swim from Alaska to the Soviet Union across the Bering Strait. While offering herself to researchers studying the effects of cold on the human body, her political goals are even larger: to bring countries and peoples together, using swimming "to establish bridges between borders." Cox ends her story with her swim to Antarctica, where she finishes the first Antarctic mile in 32-degree water in 25 minutes. Even though readers know she survived to tell the tale, it's a thrilling, awesome and well-written story. (Jan.) Forecast: Knopf plans lots of media for this inspirational book, including a nine-city author tour, a profile in Biography magazine, an appearance on NPR, ads in USA Today and features in women's, sports and travel magazines. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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